Chicago Restaurant Week: The Only Winter Week You’ll be Glad Lasts 14 Days
Chicago Restaurant Week always seems to arrive at exactly the right moment—just as your holiday hangover wears off, the December credit card statements arrive and the layering skills round into mid-season form.
Now in its 10th year, Restaurant Week lasts for two weeks from January 29 through February 9. Over 300 area restaurants are ready for you to peel off your coats, gloves, and Cubs World Series Champion knitcaps and settle in for special prix fixe menus. Pricing is as easy as 2-3-4. Starting at $22 for brunch and lunch, and dinner at either $33 or $44 (see what they did there?).
All restaurants mentioned below are participating in Restaurant Week, and reservations are highly recommended.
If you haven’t yet visited the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel (12 S. Michigan), make your way to Cindy’s on the 13th floor and take in one of the best rooftop views in the city—a sweeping look over Millenium Park. It might be tough to get a spot by the fire pits on the open air terrace, so get there early. If it gets too loud and you’re up for a burger, you’ll find the best one in the city just a couple doors down at The Gage (24 S. Michigan).
In River North, Mercadito (108 W. Kinzie) serves authentic Mexican cuisine and one of the most unique cocktails in Chicago. Order a BNGTM (Big Nose Goes To Mexico) and step back from the flames. Literally.
Across the street at 111 W. Kinzie is the nondescript door to Untitled. Marketed as a supper club, you’ll see why when you descend to the dark, cavernous space divided into intimate dining areas, curtained booths, a live performance stage, and one of the city’s best whiskey bars.
The West Randolph corridor has long been a hotspot for some of Chicago’s toughest reservations and RM Champagne Salon is a must-try. Located off the alley on a side street (116 N. Green), it’s tricky to find but worth the effort.
For some pre-Valentine’s Day seduction, you can’t go wrong with Lincoln Park mainstay Geja’s Café, still as romantic as ever with its strolling flamenco guitarists and fondue. (340 W. Armitage)
You don’t have to fight traffic, parking, and public transportation to find a deal. If you’re in the suburbs, most of your upscale favorites are participating as well, including almost all Lettuce Entertain You restaurants. Wildfire, the vintage style supper club with locations in Oak Brook, Glenview, Lincolnshire and Schaumburg is always a great choice.
If a world class steak dinner is your preference, all Ruth’s Chris, Capital Grille and Morton’s locations are Restaurant Week destinations. Seafood lovers won’t have to choose between Shaw’s Crab House and McCormick & Schmick’s as they’re in on it as well.
With Valentine’s Day just days away, Restaurant Week gives the savvy among us a chance to save a few bucks and get ahead of the game—“Honey, I don’t want to wait until the same day everyone else does to show you how much I adore you, because for us, every day is Valentine’s Day.” (wink)
Trust me. It works.